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AP - Oregon-Northwest

Latest Washington news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. PST


Family: 3 kids in car when woman killed in shooting

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The family of a Vancouver woman who was fatally shot by her estranged husband as she sat in a car in an elementary school parking lot is providing more details on the tragedy.

In a posting Wednesday on the website Go Fund Me, Tabitha Ojeda says her sister, Tiffany Hill, was with their mother and Hill’s three children on Tuesday when she was killed outside Sarah J. Anderson Elementary School.

Hill’s mother was shot three times but is expected to survive. The children were not injured.

Police have said Hill had an active restraining order against her husband, Keland Hill, and he had just posted bail in the case.

Keland Hill fatally shot himself after a short police chase.

The children will be taken in by Tiffany Hill’s sisters.


Christmas tree prices remain high amid low supply

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Experts in Oregon, the nation’s No. 1 supplier of Christmas trees, say prices for a holiday evergreen will remain higher this year due to a tight supply.

Chad Landgren, with Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, says there are 400 fewer Oregon growers than there were 15 years ago and land once used for Christmas trees is now being used for less labor intensive crops. Many tree farms went out of business about a decade ago.

On average, consumers paid $78 for a tree in 2018, up $3 from 2017.

There are 383 licensed Christmas tree growers in Oregon who sell about 4.6 million trees a year.

Most of those trees are sold in the Pacific Northwest, California, Nevada and Arizona.

Mexico is the top international importer of Oregon trees.


Regulators suggest $20M in repairs needed at power plant

(Information from: The Billings Gazette, )

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Washington state regulators have estimated $20 million in needed repairs for a power plant in Montana raising concerns about the life of the generator.

The Billings Gazette reported Wednesday that the Washington Utility and Transportation Commission confirmed a superheated portion of Unit 4 of the Colstrip Power Plant is showing signs of degradation.

Officials say the superheated portion is a zone of boiler tubing where steam is heated to more than a thousand degrees before entering the plant’s turbines.

Power plant owners say the repairs could cause the units closure in addition to increasing costs of coal.

Four of the six Colstrip owners say operations at the plant could stop as early as 2025.

Officials in Washington state say repairs should not be approved because of the plant’s uncertain future.



Woman fatally shoots man who violated protective order

(Information from: KIRO-TV, )

GRAY’S HARBOR, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a Gray’s Harbor woman has fatally shot a man who broke into a home and violated a protective order she had against him.

KIRO-TV reported Thursday that police responded to the shooting late Wednesday after the 47-year-old man broke into the home armed with a knife.

A 60-year-old man at the home confronted him and during a struggle, a 36-year-old woman who was also at the home fatally shot the intruder.

The news station reports the woman had a court order prohibiting the man from contacting her. No one was arrested.

No further details have been released, including the names of those involved.

Detectives continue to investigate and have obtained a search warrant.



Seattle’s WTO trade protests still relevant 20 years later

SEATTLE (AP) — Saturday marks 20 years since tens of thousands of protesters converged on Seattle and disrupted a major meeting of the World Trade Organization.

Officials from 135 nations had gathered in Seattle for a conference intended to launch a new round of talks to reduce trade barriers.

The city had lobbied to host the meeting because Washington is one of the nation’s most trade-dependent states, with Boeing planes, Microsoft software and agricultural products like apples and cherries making up significant exports.

The protesters’ message was amplified not just by their vast numbers but by the response of overwhelmed police, who fired tear gas and plastic bullets and arrested nearly 600 people.

Two decades later, many of their causes are still relevant.


Oregon Court of Appeals upholds wolf delisting

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the state’s decision to lift endangered species protections for gray wolves.

The Capital Press reported Thursday that the appeals panel has tossed the complaint.

State wildlife officials removed wolves from Oregon’s endangered species list in 2015 and lawmakers passed a bill backing that move in 2016.

Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild and the Center for Biological Diversity sued, arguing the delisting was premature and not based on sound science.

The appeals court says the legislative bill makes the environmentalists’ lawsuit irrelevant.

Wolves are still federally protected as an endangered species in western Oregon.

Ranchers have long argued they need to be able to kill wolves that make a habit of preying on livestock.


Mid-Columbia Libraries end overdue book fines

(Information from: Tri-City Herald, )

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The Mid-Columbia Libraries will no longer charge fines for overdue library books and other material starting Jan. 1.

The Tri-City Herald reports the staff will also be authorized to forgive prior fines.

The move follows a national trend, with public libraries in Seattle and Spokane among those that no longer collect overdue fees.

The library board decided to quit charging overdue fines because it keeps some people from using the library, especially children and families during times critical to learning and development.

Library officials say the change is not expected to cause a drop in revenue because the cost of collecting fines exceeded the amount collected.

Mid-Columbia Libraries branches are located in Kennewick, Pasco, West Richland, Prosser, Benton City, Basin City, Connell, Kahlotus, Othello and Merill’s Corner.



$15,000 reward offered for information on haystack fires

(Information from: KREM-TV, )

EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities are searching for those responsible for a dozen haystack fires this year in central Washington.

KREM-TV reports a reward of up to $15,000 has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says the fires have happened this year in the Ephrata and Quincy areas, causing significant financial losses for farmers.



Water boil advisory lifted after E. coli contamination

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. (AP) — The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District near Spokane says most of its customers no longer need to boil their water after a water sample from a fire hydrant tested positive for E. coli.

The sewer and water district said Wednesday it had isolated the area where the contamination was found, then disinfected and flushed the entire system. The boil water advisory will remain in effect for a very small portion of customers.

The water district found E. coli bacteria on Nov. 17 in water that served two homes. On Nov. 20, tests in an adjacent part of the system were also found to have E. coli bacteria.

The water system serves more than 10,000 people in Liberty Lake and the surrounding area approximately 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Spokane.


Colorado State takes 5th place at Cayman Islands Classic

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) — Adam Thistlewood made five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points, Nico Carvacho had 16 points and 14 rebounds and Colorado State pulled away from Washington State in the second half for a 79-69 victory on Wednesday in the fifth-place game of the Cayman Islands Classic.

Colorado State made 17 of its first 24 field goals of the second half (70.8%) to help wrap up the tournament with two wins after an overtime loss to New Mexico State in its opener. CSU went on a 14-2 run over nearly four minutes in the second half to go up 53-42 with 12:34 to play.

David Roddy added 12 points and Kris Martin 11 for Colorado State (5-3). The Rams finished shooting 54.9% and outrebounded the Cougars 44-28 to overcome 20 turnovers.

CJ Elleby and Jeff Pollard scored 16 points apiece to lead Washington State (3-4). Elleby, who has scored 20 points in five games this season, was 7-of-19 shooting but missed 9 of 11 3-point attempts. Pollard matched his career-best 16 points, made 6 of 7 shots including three 3-pointers.

Isaac Bonton added 11 points and Tony Miller had 10 for the Cougars, who built a 31-30 halftime edge. Washington State was just 3 of 14 from beyond the arc in the first half, but stayed in it by forcing 12 turnovers.

The Cougars pulled to 60-57 with 8:33 to play on consecutive 3s from Bonton and Jervae Robinson, but Martin answered with a 3-pointer and Isaiah Stevens made a layup to extend CSU’s lead. The Cougars never got closer, making just three layups and six free throws from there.

Carvacho and Elleby were each named to the all-tournament team.


Colorado State hosts Utah Valley on Sunday.

Washington State plays at Idaho on Wednesday.

The Associated Press